Posts Tagged ‘California’

Primitivo Wine Bar, Venice – Los Angeles

Friday, December 2nd, 2011
image credit: Primitivo Wine Bar

1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
Tel. 310 396 5353

Chef Eddy Shin had seven years of on-the-job training at the Patina Group and was most recently the executive chef at Chapter 8 Steakhouse and Lounge, where he prepared a menu of handcrafted new American cooking, and prior to that made his mark as executive chef at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in Downtown Los Angeles. Shin is a self-taught chef specializing in global cuisine and his aim is to combine fresh seasonal ingredients in a harmonious way to please the senses.

R&D Kitchen, Santa Monica – Los Angeles

Friday, April 15th, 2011

R&D Kitchen
1323 Montana Ave. (14th St.)
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Tel. 310-395-3314
Great French Fries

R&D Bar

R&D Kitchen is a very popular cafe and bar, with a no reservations policy. the large bar is chock-a-block at night with an animated crowd waiting for tables. The reasons for this are:  it is the only establishment on Montana Avenue with a full liquor license, and has an abbreviated food menu with classic American comfort food which is always fresh and well executed, and a more than adequate wine/wine by glass list.

Back Bar at R&D Bar & Cafe

Rubin Sandwich“Rubenesque” sandwichChinese chicken saladChinese Chicken SaladcheeseburgerR&D HamburgerR&D Bar & CafeGreek Chicken

Food Critic, S. Irene Virbila Refused Service at B.H. Eatery

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

small logo RDC( Culinary Tidbits . . . managing partner, Noah Ellis,  of Red Medicine Restaurant, a new Vietnamese restaurant in Beverly Hills, California took a snapshot of Los Angeles Times food critic, S. Irene Virbila and refused her party service, he then told them to leave. Ellis kept them waiting for 45 minutes before taking this decision, and as an added insult, he posted her photo on their Tumblr website (now removed, but not before the blogosphere got a hold of it) and said, “Our purpose for posting this is so that all restaurants can have a picture of her and make a decision as to whether or not they would like to serve her. We find that some of her reviews can be unnecessarily cruel and irrational…”

This website (blog) Restaurant Dining Critiques takes a dim view of this action, therefore, we have chosen not to post the snapshot of the Los Angeles Times critic.

Owner of Chicken Restaurant Faces Charges for Cock-Fighting – Los Angeles

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

roosters fighting

The owner of El Pollo Fino, a chicken restaurant located in Anaheim, a suburb of Los Angeles, faces charges for owning 800 roosters bred for fighting, along with a few hundred fighting knives & spurs. Cock-fighting is illegal in the United States. The big question is: were the losers put on the menu?

New French Brasserie, Anisette, by Alain Giraud – Santa Monica, California

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

Anisette Brasserie

225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica,
(310) 395-3200;


Anisette has just opened its doors! I hope that finally, Los Angeles will have an authentic French Brasserie. I am holding my judgment and holding my breath until more news comes out, or when I can arrange to go there personally after it has settled down and is up to speed. I am excited, although if it is swayed by the California beach set and winds up to be another American watered down version of the real thing, my excitement will wane quickly. We have Alain Giraud at the helm, and he should certainly know what is expected of a true Alsatian Brasserie however, partners and beach people can have a defining influence to sway it in another direction. It might stand a better chance of acceptance, of pulling-off the real thing, if it were located in the West Hollywood/Hollywood area where the clientèle are a bit more savy about knowing and appreciating true authenticity.
I suppose we must just wait and see
what the final result of this brasserie will be
and certainly the result will not emerge immediately . . . what a shame, it is now closed

Robert Mondavi Dies at 94

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

I remember well when I first met Robert Mondavi, it was at my French restaurant in Hollywood called Au Petit Café. He was visiting all the best restaurants in Los Angeles to promote his own wine from his newly formed Robert Mondavi Winery, after an unhappy break-up from the family business.

Obit MondaviIt was difficult to tell him that I could not put his wine on my list, due to it being a French restaurant, which had an exclusively French wine list with all the best Grand Cru and other top French vintages; and that is what my customers expected. I did however, offer to change my cooking wine and give him that business; you must remember at this point California wine was not recognized as fine wine—and in the future he changed all of this. He did not accept my offer and left very disappointed.

Above: AP Photo (originally provided by Departures Magazine)

I sold his wine years later, including Opus One in my wine bar called Bouchon, in Brentwood CA, where we offered 100 wines by the glass and had many selections of California and other New World wines. I was invited to attended some wine functions at the winery and went on several occasions.

When Robert Mondavi and Baron Phillippe de Rothschild formed a limited partnership to bring out Opus One in 1979, Miklos Dora, then head of world-wide promotion for Mouton Rothschild and I discussed how it might go over with such a large price tag for a wine grown in California. The reality is, It became a big success due in no small part to Robert Mondavi’s unfailing persistence.

He was indeed, a major influence in the California wine industry and my sympathetic thoughts go out to his family and friends.

Cold Spring Tavern – Santa Barbara, California

Friday, March 21st, 2008

5995 Stagecoach Rd
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 967-0066
Credit Cards: All major
Prices: Moderate

From Santa Barbara take Highway 154 past the summit and turn left on Stagecoach Road.

A rather long drive up the slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains was broken up by lovely views behind and to the west of Santa Barbara and the ocean beyond, as you approach the summit of the San Marcos pass and you gradually descend one eventually reaches Stagecoach Road and drive down a small winding road until you reach a beautiful tree covered glen where the Cold Spring Tavern is located. Jazz and Blues music is played very, informally outside in front of the bar in the afternoon on weekends and moves inside by the fireplace as night falls.
For more than 100 years the Cold Spring Tavern has been a way station for travelers making the difficult climb over San Marcos Pass. Established in the 1880’s as a stagecoach relay post it has earned a rugged past with cowboys, bandits and buried treasure playing a part in its history. Two bandits once held up the stage when it stopped at the tavern and made off with the Wells Fargo box holding $50,000 in gold coins. A posse caught the bandits, but the bandits carried the box’s whereabouts to the gallows. Roy Rogers once spent seven hours tending bar, and no one recognized him, he seemed like just a simple cowboy from the valley. Things have remained the same since those days and there is still a fire in the fireplace and hearty menu of homemade breads and soups, stews and game.
And the quaint restaurant next door to the bar is charming with fireplaces burning in every room, and you are glad they are there! The menu offers hearty fare that fits into the setting, along with the almost year-round cold temperatures, and offers mainly stew, terrine, and game that is served by a quite knowledgeable staff.
Starters might include: Old Country Game Pate with a salad of white beans, nuts and sherry vinegar, Venison sausage with a medley of sautéed mushrooms and garlic Platter of Appetizers, Pate, Venison sausage and artichoke hearts.
Main courses, for example, might include: Sautéed Medallions of Venison with Roma tomatoes and basil, Grilled Carolina quail, Porcini mushroom Fettuccini, Charbroiled boneless half Chicken, Sautéed New York Steak with black, green, red and yellow peppercorns, sautéed Medallions of Rabbit with wild mushrooms and garlic, grilled filet of New Zealand Venison with wild Lingonberries and red wine.
The wine list is brief but adequate.